Just because iPhone comes with a software keyboard, does not mean you have to like it … or keep it. There are better iPhone keyboard apps out there with robust features like custom themes and emoji, as well as some that can help you type faster or more accurately, so why not make the leap?
Although keyboard customization first became available on iOS 8, it̵
What to look for in an iOS keyboard app
Choosing a new keyboard is a fun way to customize your phone, and it can be fun to try new keyboard apps to see what’s available. Each app offers a variety of things to customize from comfort to aesthetics. Everyone does things their own way, but these are the most important things to think about:
- Text options: Good keyboard software makes typing quick and accurate, and supports both gesture and voice typing. It should also have robust text correction and predictive text options, support a wide range of languages, and let you add or remove words from your personal dictionary.
- Design: Third-party keyboard apps are all about customization. From fun colorful themes to choosing keyboard layouts, having plenty of options for each setting is what makes them great. The best iPhone keyboard apps offer multiple keyboard sizes and layout options, allowing you to swap things like haptic feedback, sounds, emoji and GIFs, and a variety of numbers. Pretty much any customization you can think of is possible, so make sure you take the time to try a few and find the one that works best for you.
- Emoji and GIF access: While it’s important for a keyboard to have solid text options for fast, accurate typing, half the fun with them is discovering GIFs and emoji and sharing them with friends. Good iPhone keyboard apps provide easy access to emoji, stickers, GIFs, and other fun extras as a priority, rather than searching for or downloading someone from another app.
- Privacy: Keyboards have access to everything you type, from passwords and usernames to credit card information and your personal dictionary. Because of this vulnerability, we favor keyboards that guarantee privacy and store everything locally on your device (instead of in the cloud somewhere).
- Cost: All keyboard apps in our comparison are free, but some offer in-app purchases for things like premium themes or other tools. Even if you end up looking at other keyboard apps off our list, be sure to avoid options that require a purchase or, worse, a subscription, as it just is not something you have to pay for.
Best multilingual option: SwiftKey
Microsoft SwiftKey (free, with in-app purchases) is a solid, rounded keyboard app, but the most impressive feature is the language support. The app allows you to seamlessly enter as many as five languages at a time without changing any settings. You can choose from over 400 supported languages, so if you have friends and family around the globe, this keyboard can help you speak them all effectively. The AI-powered dictionary continuously adapts to the unique way you speak, and has powerful autocorrect and useful text predictions. And don’t worry, it also has robust GIFs, emoji and stickers for whenever you want to go crazy.
Private, pretty and fast: Flexy
Flexi (free, with in-app purchases) is beautiful and private, yes, but the shiny feature is how fast you can type with it. Flexi is the fastest keyboard out there, even with the Guinness World Record. It stores everything you type locally on your device, not in a cloud, so you want to be sure that your private information (such as username and password) is not vulnerable to hacking. The keyboard also has built-in mini-apps, so you can search for memes, GIFs, video clips, and even Yelp recommendations without modifying apps. There is also a selection of other mini extensions.
Many features, Little Frill: Gboard
Google’s Gboard (free) is simple and straightforward, focusing on flash features. It provides excellent text prediction when using machine learning and has multilingual support, so you can switch between writing in different languages. The dictionary and suggestions for auto-correction will automatically detect and switch accordingly. It also supports speech and slide writing.
Gboard has a large selection of GIFs, stickers and emoji to choose from, and you can customize settings such as haptic feedback, sounds and keyboard layouts, and theme options. The keyboard has a small selection of themes with muted colors, landscapes and gradients, and you can also use one of your own images. Gboard also keeps your information private and only stores your information on your device.
Best for reducing typos: typewise
Sure, there are typos, but if you feel you tend to make them more than others, you may want to check out Typewise (free, with in-app purchases). While maintaining a “traditional” keyboard layout option, it forces users to type with the alternate keyboard layout, which has larger keys and is designed to cause 80% fewer typos. The app uses gestures to make typing easier, such as swiping up to use uppercase letters or swiping left or right, respectively, to delete or restore. It also keeps your writing safe and out of the cloud, and supports writing in over 40 languages.
For help with grammar: grammar
No one likes to be the person who is known for making grammatical errors. If this sounds like you, consider downloading Grammarly (free, with in-app purchases). While it lacks many of the more exciting features that these types of apps tend to have, it does a decent job of helping you type faster, making your writing stronger and more accurate, and helping you understand the mistakes you make, so that you do not repeat it. them in the future. The keyboard works in all kinds of apps, such as social media, email, messages and documents, and it certainly promises privacy for everything you type while using it.
Customizable themes and fonts: ReBoard
You can unleash your inner artist with ReBoard (free, with in-app purchases), as it gives you the ability to customize just about anything from themes to keyboard layouts to fonts. ReBoard has a huge database of animated stickers and the latest emoji, and even has automatic emoji predictions and an emoji search feature. ReBoard also has many ways to customize the keyboard, such as different sizes and colors, one-handed typos and options for alternate characters, and move the cursor on the space bar. It even has 27 built-in mini-apps for web and image search, GIFs and stickers, a calculator, YouTube, your calendar, Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, news and more.
Best for custom emoji: Bitmoji
If you like using emoji, but have always wanted something a little more personal, check out Bitmoji (for free). The app lets you create a custom cartoon avatar that looks just like you. You have control over details such as facial features, the color of your hair and skin, and even avatar expressions, outfits and accessories. While it also lets you write regularly and provides useful text suggestions, the fun of the app takes the time to customize your Bitmoji stickers and show them to friends and family when you chat with them.